2015 has landed with a thud, and whether we’re ready or not, it’s time to get organised for the year ahead, and what better way to get started than doing a little bit of spring cleaning.
At Grassroots IT we have a single shared drive that we call the “G Drive”, because on our computers it’s mapped to the drive letter “G”. Here’s a quick snapshot of what it looks like.
It’s a pretty standard folder structure in there, with top level folders such as ‘Admin’ and ‘Finance’ holding all sorts of files relevant to each area of our business. The sort of things that you’d find in most businesses really. And just like in most businesses, the content in there can get pretty unruly and out of control if you’re not careful.
NOTE: We all know by now that there are better ways to manage your corporate files than just dumping them into a couple of folders. One of the best options available at the moment is Microsoft SharePoint that comes with Office 365, which is something that we talk about a lot around here. In practise though, even us SharePoint advocates still have a place for a plain old shared folder, at least until we finish fully migrating all of our systems to SharePoint.
So here’s one quick tip that you might like to consider to help keep your own shared folders a bit more organised. Have a look here in our G:Community folder. See that folder up the top called “~Archive”? Well for starters it’s got that little tilde (~) character there so that it always appears at the very top of the folder list, just so where can keep things consistent.
But if we have a peek inside, here’s what we see.
We have a single ‘zip’ archived folder based on each calendar year gone by. To do this, all you need to do is to highlight all of the content that you want to include in a new zip archive, right-click with your mouse, and select “Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder”. You can then rename the resulting zip file with a meaningful name such as ‘2014’, drag it into your new ‘~Archive’ folder and you’re done.
Now I wouldn’t suggest archiving all of 2014 on the first of January 2015, because it’s quite likely that you’re going to need access to some of that stuff still. Perhaps though you can archive off 2013 or earlier?
Keep in mind too that this logic may not apply to some situations where archiving by year doesn’t make sense. Perhaps you might archive based on supplier name, or some other factor.
Whichever factor you choose to base your archiving decisions on, spending a little bit of time tidying up old, rarely used content from your shared drive can go a long way to keeping things a bit easier to manage in the long run.